CFP: The Culture Industry Today (Brazil) (5/15/06; 8/28/06-9/1/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Fabio Durao
contact email:

The Culture Industry Today, Universidade Metodista de
Piracicaba (UNIMEP), Brazil, Aug. 28 – Sept. 1.

With participants from several Brazilian universities,
the study group “Critical Theory and Education” has
been carrying out research on Critical Theory since
1991, focusing especially on issues related to
education and cultural analysis. In our 5th
conference, we would like to bring scholars together
to discuss – from the perspective of the first
generation of the Frankfurt School – the culture
industry today, particularly under the impact of the
new technologies and the consequences resulting from

The amazement vis-à-vis new interactive possibilities,
as the convergence and intertwining of new media,
which are ultimately a result of transformations in
capitalism’s productive forces, has led several
critics to announce the death of the concept of the
culture industry. The so-called democratization of
information, as well as the sharp changes in
perception (in aesthetics, in its old sense), give the
impression that the subject is apt to intervene in
society in such a way that the contradiction between
parts and the whole starts to correspond to mere
technical problems to be solved without any need for
social change.

This hasty conclusion is not capable of dispelling
signs and symptoms which are at odds with the
appearance of happiness. The consequences of
fetishization and reification of consciousness
stubbornly remind us that reconciliation between the
individual and society, desire and cultural
production, has not yet taken place, in spite of the
attempts by the culture industry to show that
happiness may be achieved here and now. Such promises,
in fact, are not fulfilled, for what really happens
today is a “reconciliation under duress” in T.W.
Adorno’s words. However, if the basic premises of the
concept of culture industry are still valid, what
would be the unfolding of the current process of
technological fetishization and absolutization? In
times of globalized Big Brothers it is fundamental to
promote debates on the nature of the culture industry
today, especially concerning the objective and
subjective damages generated by cultural Halbbildung,
which is fast spreading out, as well as the congruence
between technological progress and sensorial numbness.

This theoretical framework encourages the
approximation of different fields of knowledge, such
as education, psychoanalysis, communications and
language studies. These are so many axes that allow
one to fully characterize the contemporary concept of
cultural industry. The talks and panels in the
conference were conceived with the intent of examining
the issues above.

Topics include:
• Critical Theory, Culture Industry and Education;
• Communications, Culture Industry and Halbbildung;
• Esthetics and the education of the senses;
• Culture Industry, Ethics and Bildung;
• Culture Industry, Subjectivity, Bildung
• Culture Industry, New Technologies and Language;
• Critical Theory and Psychoanalysis;
• The body, new technologies, Bildung;
• Culture Industry, Literature and the Arts.

Confirmed invited speakers include: Robert
Hullot-Kentor, Ulrich Oevermann, Christoph Tuercke,
Andreas Gruschka and Rodrigo Duarte.

Please send abstracts (500 words maximum) together
with a short bio to Prof. Bruno Pucci
( by May 10.

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Received on Sun Apr 16 2006 - 09:05:07 EDT

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